By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The decades long decline in the number of annual abortion rates appears to have stalled, with numbers indicating a spike in chemical abortions and in the number of clinics now performing abortions at 20 -24 weeks may be to to blame.
A new report released today by the Guttmacher Institute, which was founded by a former president of Planned Parenthood, has found that the number of abortions for 2008 has remained essentially level with those reported in 2005, indicating that two decades of decline in the number of abortions in the U.S. has come to an end.
The report found 1.212 million abortions in 2008, compared with 1.206 million abortions in 2005 with the difference said to be accounted for by abortions from previously uncounted abortion “providers” discovered since the 2005 survey. The total is still far below the peak of 1.6 million abortions reported for 1990.
“Grassroots pro-life legislative and educational efforts, along with the practical, life-affirming alternatives to abortion offered by pregnancy care centers across the United States, have certainly had an impact in preventing an increase in the annual number of abortions,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) director of education and research.
“But with abortion continuing to claim the lives of more than 100,000 unborn children every month, we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to educate the public and enact laws that protect unborn children and their mothers from the dangers of abortion and make sure they know that help is available.”
The NRLC was not surprised to note that 16 percent of the total number of abortions – 199,000 – were chemical abortions such as RU486. This number represents a 24 percent increase in the use of what has proven to be a dangerous and painful abortion method. Since the FDA approved RU486 in 2000, “hundreds of chemical abortion patients have ended up hospitalized with hemorrhages, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, or serious infections, which have proven deadly on occasion,” the NRLC reports.
“RU-486 not only goes after a whole new customer base with the false promise of an easy, safe alternative to surgical abortion, but its increased use lets the abortion industry shift to a method that requires less overhead to administer, thereby adding to their ever-increasing bottom line,” Dr. O’Bannon noted.
“With the median cost of $490, Guttmacher found for a chemical abortion, the new method represents more than $97.5 million in gross revenues for an industry already making hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The report also found at least 1,793 abortion providers in the United States with 23 percent now offering abortions after 20 weeks, compared to 20 percent in 2005. Eleven percent offered abortions after 24 weeks compared to just eight percent in 2005. This translates to at least 350 providers who offer these late abortions.
“Pro-abortion advocates have long said that they want abortion to be ‘rare’,” Dr. O’Bannon said. “Yet, sadly for mothers and their unborn children, it is clear from these latest findings that abortion remains a big business in the United States and that the abortion industry is continually working to increase both their reach and their bottom line.”
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